By Theresa Harper
Maxwell Fairman, from Cincinnati, brought home a gold medal in the category of instrumental classical at the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) music competitions at the recent National NAACP convention in Detroit.
He received $2,000 cash and a laptop computer. He said he absolutely loved the experience and is eligible to compete for a few more years, since he has not graduated from high school.
Maxwell Fairman is a 15-year-old violinist involved in several arts programs at the local, state and national level. A devoted chamber musician, he made his White House debut in 2016 at age 12, as part of the string quartet The Perfect Fourth. The Perfect Fourth performed alongside the renowned violin and viola duo Black Violin as well.
Fairman is a part of the Peraza Music Workshop Ensemble that performed at Carnegie Hall in 2017.
He made his solo debut at age 13 with the Cincinnati Philharmonic Orchestra. He won second in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition Junior Division, allowing him to perform at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. He has won several local and state competitions.
Fairman began playing the violin at age 4 and has taken lessons with Marion Peraza de Webb since the age of 12. He also studies with Almita Vamos. He has enhanced his studies at several summer camps. He won a full scholarship to the Interlochen Arts Academy in 2018 and participated in the Sphinx Performance Academy and the Center Stage Strings Institute, where he studied with esteemed teachers Danielle Belen, Simon James and Elbert Tsai. He is attending Meadowmount School of Music this summer.
A dedicated academic student as well, Maxwell Fairman is on the honor roll and part of the honors program at Walnut Hills High School.
The ACT-SO program is now open for applications through the local NAACP office for 2020 local competition in Cincinnati on April 25, 2020. The national competition is in Boston, Massachusetts, July 23-26, 2020.